ABINGDON, VA (Thursday, May 30, 2013) – Frankie Thacker, produce manager for the E. Main Rogersville, TN Food City was recently named a grand-prize winner in the 2013 Retail Produce Manager of the Year Awards. Each year, United Fresh Produce Association recognizes the top 25 produce managers within the industry during their annual convention. Five grand-prize winners are selected from among the field of competitors. This year’s convention was held at the San Diego, CA Convention Center, May 14-16. Thacker also participated in a panel discussion during the convention.
“These men and women represent the “best of the best” in our industry,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President & CEO. “Through their creative efforts and interaction with customers, they’re making produce a centerpiece of the retail shopping experience and wowing consumers everyday.”
The candidates were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by supermarket chains, commissaries and independent retail stores throughout the industry. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of produce merchandising/marketing, community service and commitment to total customer satisfaction.
Thacker knows the majority of her customers by name. She is a strong advocate of Food City’s locally grown produce program and works extensively with local growers to ensure her customer’s receive the freshest product possible. She is committed to educating her customers and their children about the importance of incorporating fruits and vegetables into their diet. She also spends a great deal of time visiting local schools and educating students on the benefits of a healthy diet and introducing them to new items within the produce department. Frankie also hosted a “Salad with Santa” event at the local middle school. Students received a salad with their lunch and were given an opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa. She is heavily involved in her community, assisting with fundraisers for local charities, including area school P.T.O. programs, Shepard’s Center Food Bank, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Santa Train and Relay for Life. She also assists with numerous company sponsored events, including new store openings, remodels and special events like Food City’s Freshville Produce tent sales.
“Frankie is an extremely creative and talented merchandiser and marketer. She is dedicated to her customers, her fellow associates and the community,” said Mike Tipton, director of produce operations for Food City. “We’re proud to have her serve as a member of our Food City produce management team and we certainly congratulate Frankie and her team on this great honor.”
Food City associates were also named award winners in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores operates 106 retail supermarkets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.